Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who shares this review of the new Stampfl Stressless receiver:
The Stampfl “Stressless”
by Dan Robinson
Stampfl based in Switzerland is well known as a manufacturer of excellent antennas, morse keys, and other equipment for amateur radio operators and SWLs. Now, Stampfl is offering what it calls the “Stressless” HF receiver. Housed in a beautiful heavy metal cabinet, one would think that there would be more to this than there is actually is — it’s a very basic receiver made, as the name implies, for those who want a minimum of stress in their HF listening.
It is intended as an assembly kit, with some minimal soldering required. Heinz Stampfl notes that the VFO and RX board are fully assembled and tested. Total construction time is estimated a 1-2 hours. Star of the show on the Stressless is the large color display which enables changing of colors, tuning step, VFO A/B, attenuation, and memories. The single bandwidth has been well chosen — I had no problems listening to Voz Missionaria in Brazil on 9,665 khz though any stations requiring separation will be a challenge for this receiver since there is no SSB and that one bandwidth. The receiver tunes from 100 kHz to 30 MHz.
One would hope that firmware might be upgradeable, but Stampfl states that this is not possible, which is a bit of a puzzle. The receiver runs on 11-15V DC — the only other thing on the back of the cabinet is the BNC antenna input.
I’ll have more thoughts on the “Stressless” after I complete additional testing. So far, it has appeal as a very simple receiver with high sensitivity and a beautiful front interface. It might be a good choice for beginning SWLs, as many of them as there are out there, but the price/feature ratio is a bit of steep climb against the background of Tecsun portables with multi-bandwidth and SSB capabilities, not to mention the recently released Choyong LC90 which combines good SW, AM, and FM with Internet radio.
The “Stressless” — for those who can afford the price — would be good as an easy-to-use main listening receiver for stations not requiring much DXing skill or tools to separate. These days with the SW bands populated by fewer stations, this receiver might be fun to have around and it is certainly a good way to teach the radio hobby to newcomers.
The “Stressless” I am testing arrived well-packed in a clam-shell style inner box — it was already assembled by Stampfl for which I am grateful. The company also makes the X One Active Dipole antenna, which I am also testing at the moment and will have more on at a later date.